Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Making a home away from home

We hopped a train to the south of Spain with a years worth of luggage and life tucked away in the overhead compartments.

My entire life I've dreamed of this type of foreign adventure...where my former identity would become a bit blurred and I would have to find myself all over again in a new country. The feeling of not knowing where you will sleep, where you will eat, what the city you'll call home for a year will be like is both terrifying and liberating. And I've never been the type of person to just sit at the edge of the cliff and stare. So I did what I've always done...I jumped.

On the way to La Linea de la Concepcion, we stopped in Cadiz for an hour or two, which is the oldest city in Europe built in the 8th century B.C. by the Phoenicians. That's before the Roman Empire folks, which translates to mean: pretty damn old. We tasted traditional foods, marveled at the architecture and danced like children in the streets.

After months of waiting to explore the streets of the town I'd be teaching in, we finally arrived to La Linea de la Concepcion, a little town of about 30,000 people that sits on the border of Gibraltar. From the center of town, the Bay is to your right, the Mediterranean to your left, and Morocco straight ahead.

The race was on to find an apartment as soon as we arrived. We had five days at the hotel, and then, we were completely on our own. After a few stressful days of searching we finally had some promising in the center of town in the Calle del Sol, and the other in the Plaza Cruz Herrera. After comparing all of the apartments, the answer was clear. The apartment in the Plaza was hands-down perfect, in a safe area, AND it came with an adorable landlady named Loreto who is grandmotherly and kind. We spent the first few days cleaning and scrubbing. I heard my mother's voice the whole time saying, "don't forget to wash the couch covers...and the sheets...oh and all of the dishes too, you don't know who's been eating out of them!"

And finally, after searching and worrying and then scrubbing and cleaning...I lit a vanilla candle and a cinnamon candle to remind me of home. A home away from home (although it could never compare to the real thing).


  1. Oh my gosh this is even more adorable than I ever pictured it being!
    I cannot wait to take some photographs here!
    It still kind of blows my mind that you're THAT close to Morocco!

  2. I love love love your is so cute and cozy. It is better than i had pictured it on the inside. You guys did good Meg! Very proud of you! Keep up the blogs and keep on enjoying yourself, youre only young once and when your 41 like your old man and you can look back on when you were 22 and living in Spain like it was yesterday you will know what I mean. Love You! Diddy

  3. Your apartment is so charming! I'm glad I made an impression on you about the cleaning...:) You made me giggle & tear up at the same time.

    I love the windows, the dishes, and your bedroom. You guys did an awesome job picking your apartment. I love that you lit candles to remind you of "home".

    Love loves!

  4. I love everything with your little apartment Meg! I am so happy you are getting to do what you always dreamed of doing. Did you meet your little students yet
    Love you,